Letter from General Lee, enclosing several Resolutions of a Council of Officers held at Williamsburgh, considered in Committee of the Whole, Petition of John Tayloe Corbin

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Thursday, May 9, 1776.

The President laid before the Convention a Letter from Major-General Lee, enclosing several Resolutions of a Council of Officers held in the City of Williamsburgh; which being read,

Resolved, That this Convention will immediately resolve itself into a Committee on the said Letter and Resolutions.

Ordered, That the said Letter and Resolutions, together with the Proceedings of the Committee of Safety on that subject, be referred to the said Committee.

The Convention accordingly resolved itself into the said Committee; and after some time spent therein, the President resumed the chair, and Mr˙ Nelson reported that the Committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the said Letter and Resolutions; but not having time to go through the same, had directed him to move for leave to sit again.

Resolved, That this Convention will to-morrow again resolve itself into a Committee on the said Letter and Resolutions.

The President also laid before the Convention a Letter from Mr˙ James Tait, on the subject of making Salt; which was read, and ordered to be referred to the Committee appointed to prepare and bring in an Ordinance to encourage the making Salt, Saltpetre, and Gunpowder.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Nathaniel Lyttleton Savage, Mr˙ Isaac Smith, and Mr˙ West, be added to the Committee appointed to bring in an Ordinance to encourage the making Salt, Saltpetre, and Gunpowder.

The President laid before the Convention a Letter from the President of the General Congress, and also a Resolution of the said Congress desiring to exchange Continental money for Specie; which was read, and ordered to lie on the table.

Mr˙ Digges, from the Committee of Safety, laid before the Convention, according to the direction of the Ordinance, the Proceedings of the said Committee; which were ordered to lie on the table.

Mr˙ Digges, from the Committee of Privileges and Elections, reported that the Committee had examined several Certificates of the election of Delegates to serve in the present Convention, and compared the same with the form prescribed by the Ordinance, and had come to the following Resolutions thereupon; which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same were again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the Certificates of the election of Delegates to serve in this present Convention for the Counties of Accomack, Albemarle, Amherst, Augusta, Botetourt, Bedford, Brunswick, Caroline, Charles City, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Culpepper, Dinwiddie, Elizabeth City, Essex, Fauquier, Fairfax, Gloucester, Goochland, Henrico, Hanover, James City, Jamestown, Isle-of-Wight, King George, King William, Lancaster, Middlesex, New-Kent, Northumberland, Northampton, Orange, Prince William, Prince George, Richmond, Stafford, Sussex, Warwick, Williamsburgh, York, and the College of William and Mary, are made in the form prescribed by the Ordinance.

Resolved, That the Certificates of the election of Delegates

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to serve in this present Convention for the Counties of Buckingham, Dumnore, Fincastle, Halifax, Louisa, Lunenburgh, Loudoun, Mecklenburgh, Nansemond, Prince Edward, Pittsylvania, Southampton, Spottsylvania, Surry, and Westmoreland, are not made in the form prescribed by the Ordinance.

Ordered, That the Certificates of the election of Delegates for the Counties of Lunenburgh and Nansemond be amended at the Clerk' s table.

The Convention being informed that the Sheriff of the County of King William hath returned a Delegate as duly chosen for the said County who had a lesser number of votes than two other candidates at the said election,

Ordered, That the said information be referred to the Committee of Privileges and Elections, and that they inquire into the truth thereof, and report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Mr˙ Carrington, from the Committee to whom the Petition of William Criddle was referred, reported that the Committee had, according to order, had under their consideration the said Petition, and had come to the following Resolution thereupon, which he read in his place, and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk' s table, where the same was again twice read, and agreed to:

Resolved, That the said Petition is reasonable, and that the said William Criddle ought to be allowed by the publick the sum of £10 for his present relief, and the sum of £10 per annum during his life, as a compensation for the loss of his right arm in the service of the publick.

A Petition of John Tayloe Corbin was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth that so long ago as last October — a time when all America, as well in Congress as in her Colonial Conventions, was expressing her loyalty to the King — a time when no line of conduct was publickly marked out — he had occasion to write a letter to Charles Neilson, Esq˙, of Urbanna, who was going to Norfolk, with a passport from the Committee of Middlesex, which original letter he begs leave to submit to this Convention, with his case, and declarations thereon; that at the moment of writing the said letter, nor at any time since, has he, even in idea, violated or contravened the measures and ordinances of his country, but is, and always has been, determined to make them the rule of his conduct; that Major George Lyne, of the Minute Battalion, by the fullness of his power, issued his military orders for the seizing and apprehending him, by which he was forced from his wife and family, and detained in custody four days, till he had been examined by the Committee of his County, and discharged by them, as not being within their jurisdiction; that, conscious of having never acted inimical to his country, he determined to submit himself and the said letter to the Convention, and for that purpose set off from home and came to Williamsburgh, with his aged and much afflicted father, where he was no sooner arrived but he was again arrested by a military warrant, and confined in the common Guard-house; that he is determined, in future, to demean himself according to the Ordinances of this Convention, and sorry that any expression in the said letter should give offence, when none was intended; hopes that his case may be speedily inquired into, and such relief granted him as shall seem just and right.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Privileges and Elections, and that they inquire into the truth thereof, and report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention; and that, in the mean time, he be confined to his room, in the City of Williamsburgh, under a proper guard.

Ordered, That a Committee of Publick Claims be appointed, of the following persons: Mr˙ Richard Lee, Mr˙ Adams, Mr˙ Talbot, Mr˙ Drew, Mr˙ Tazewell, Mr˙ Benjamin Watkins, Mr˙ King, Mr˙ Gordon, Mr˙ Clayton, Mr˙ Muse, Mr˙ Gray, Mr˙ Thornton, Mr˙ Travis, Mr˙ Clapham, and Mr˙ Terry.

And they are to meet and adjourn from day to day, and to take into their consideration all publick claims to them referred, and to report their proceedings, with their opinions thereupon, to the Convention; and they are to have power to send for persons, papers, and records, for their information.

Resolved, That five of the said Committee be a sufficient number to proceed to business.

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Ordered, That Mr˙ Hynd Russell be appointed Clerk to the said Committee.

A Petition of James Turner and William Terry was presented to the Convention and read; setting forth that, by directions of Colonel Armistead Watlington, then commander of the Militia of Halifax County, they were ordered out with a party of soldiers to the assistance of the inhabitants of North-Carolina, to suppress the Insurgents at Cross-Creek; that they were on duty five days, and then discharged by the Commanding Officer at Hillsborough, and praying, in behalf of themselves and the men under their command, to be allowed such reasonable pay as their services shall be found to deserve.

Ordered, That the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Publick Claims, and that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

Ordered, That Mr˙ Burwell be added to the Committee of Privileges and Elections.

Mr˙ Gray, from the Committee appointed, presented to the Convention, according to order, an Ordinance to amend an Ordinance entitled An Ordinance for establishing a mode of making Tobacco Payments during the discontinuance of the Inspection Law; and the said Ordinance was read the first time, and ordered to be read a second time.

A Petition of Samuel Boush was presented to the Convention, and read; setting forth, that some time in the month of December last a Negro man slave, named Mercury, belonging to him, was apprehended for felony, and soon after, by a Court of Inquiry, held by Colonel Charles Scott and his associates, sent to Williamsburgh to be tried by the honourable the Committee of Safety, but that before such trial the said slave died, and praying such allowance for the said slave as shall be thought reasonable.

Also, a Petition of Samuel Boush and Goodrich Boush, Executors of Samuel Boush, deceased, setting forth, that some time in the month of December last a Negro man slave, belonging to the estate of the said Samuel Boush, deceased, fled to Lord Dunmore, and was soon after taken and sent to Williamsburgh, but before trial died, and praying an allowance for the said slave.

Also, a Petition of Arthur Boush, setting forth, that some time in the month of December last Harry, a Negro man slave, belonging to him, fled to Lord Dunmore, and was soon after taken and sent to Williamsburgh, but before trial the said slave died, and praying a reasonable allowance for the said slave.

Ordered, That the said several Petitions be referred to the Committee of Publick Claims, and they are to inquire into the matter thereof, and report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

A Claim of William Smith, for a Negro man slave, who was shot for refusing to surrender himself to the Troops when required, was presented to the Convention, and ordered to be referred to the Committee of Publick Claims, and they are to report the same, together with their opinion thereupon, to the Convention.

It appearing to this Convention that the contributions raised in the different Counties for the purchase of Powder, Lead, Flints, and Cartridge-Paper, according to a Resolution of a former Convention, have been found ineffectual to answer the purposes thereby intended,

Resolved, therefore, That it be recommended to the different County Committees to restore to the people all such sums of money so contributed as now remain in their hands undisposed of.

Adjourned till to-morrow, ten o' clock.